Ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren (File photo)
Photo : PTI
Ranchi: A special court in Ranchi, Monday, extended the ED's custodial remanded of former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren. The federal probe agency had asked for four more days to question him in an alleged land scam.
While investigating Jharkhand's alleged land scam, ED has registered two separate money laundering case. The agency has now told the court that on basis of what's app chats between Hemant Soren and Binod has led to identification map of a proposed banquet. This matches with 8.5 acre land illegally acquired and possessed by Hemant Soren".
ED in its fresh remand application has claimed that while scanning through purported what's app chats between Soren and Binod Singh, they have found "information regarding proposed structures over landed properties which are required to be investigated for taking proper action".
The agency has also informed the court that Soren was "requested to produce his mobile phone in which he had conversation and chats with Binod Singh. However he has given frivolous reasons for not producing his phone in order to conceal information associated with properties acquired and possessed by him which are nothing but proceeds of crime".
ED has claimed that whole process of forming a report and vesting the land to the party namely Raj Kumar Pahan started after it conducting a survey last April.
In its investigation, ED told the court that land rights was restored to Pahan on 29th January 2024, the same day when searches were being carried out in a south Delhi residence which was leased by Jharkhand government. A day later, Hemant Soren reached Ranchi.
Hemant Soren and JMM have maintained that the said land could not be owned or sold to anyone. However, ED now says the process of vesting the land rights started after the agency conducted the first on 20th April 2023 and land was restored to Raj Kumar Pahan on 29th January 2024 when they were conducting raids in Delhi.
Meanwhile Rajya Sabha MP Dhiraj Sahu was questioned for over ten hours last Saturday and then again for five hours of Sunday.
Sahu, however, denied he owns the BMW SUV seized by ED in Delhi. Under section 50 of PMLA, Sahu statement was recorded. Sources said Sahu was asked about the "ownership" of BMW SUV.
The agency had seized the vehicle on 29th January. ED has also extracted purported what's app chats between former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren and Binod Singh.